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NZ consumer confidence ticks up in August as kiwis remain upbeat

Thursday 15th August 2013

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New Zealand consumer confidence increased this month from its already elevated level as people remain optimistic about the state of the economy.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index increased to 123 in August from 119.8 last month, retracing a dip in July. The current conditions index improved to 121.6 from 118.2 and future conditions gained to 124 from 120.9.

"Solid readings for consumer confidence, in combination with the same for business sentiment, are signalling an economy with good momentum," ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said in his report.

The readings of the combined surveys indicate potential for growth of about 4 percent by the end of the year, which would be the economy's best performance since 2007.

"This looks to be pie in the sky stuff, but there is no questioning the spirit: we have an economy that's expanding at a decent clip," he said.

The survey comes after retail sales data yesterday showed increased consumer spending in the second three months of the year, led by a record gain in spending in the hospitality sector.

Of the 1,062 respondents, a net 41 percent consider now a good time to buy a big ticket item, up from 39 percent in July. A net 2 percent said they were better now than a year ago, compared to a net 3 percent saying they were worse off, and a net 32 percent expect to be better off in a year's time, up from a net 28 percent.

A net 16 percent of respondents predict better economic conditions in the coming year, form a net 14 percent in July, and a net 24 percent see good times ahead in the coming five years, up from a net 21 percent last month.

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